Building Small Business Takes Commitment
Thu April 22,2010
By Lira Rewiantari
Since April 2009 when Bank Andara opened for business, its priority has been to understand and support the important role that MFIs play in Indonesia in alleviating poverty and supporting low income Indonesians who have inadequate access to financial services. Bank Andara has established itself as a pro poor strategic wholesale business partner to Indonesian MFIs, with the specific mission of helping millions of unbanked Indonesians access financial services and products.
One of Bank Andara’s clients is BPR Bumi Asih NBP 30, established in 1994 and currently serving 7.828 savings customers, 246 time deposits customers, and 2.129 credit/loan customers. This year they have won awards for a variety of successful products, their quick loan process and pick up service. Together with Bank Andara they have worked to support their customers needs.
Ibu Nani is one such customer. She has been a client of BPR Bumi Asih NBP 30 since she started with a Rp500.000, loan 5 years ago. Originally Ibu Nani’s business was in snack foods, but she saw more potential in making bags and pillows and sought out funding to support her change in business. The funding support she received from BPR Bumi Asih NBP 30 led to the launch of ‘RESTI’, a business making and selling bags and pillows.
In five years, Ibu Nani has made good progress with her business, increasing both the numbers of workers she employs and sewing machines. Ibu Nani said, “At the beginning of this business, I was assisted by two of my friends and only had 1 sewing machine. Now I have increased to 7 workers and 4 sewing machines. In the beginning I could produce and sell only pillows and bolsters but with my increase is staff and stock, I have been able to extend my range to selling all kinds of bags and also hand phone holsters.”
Ibu Nani understands the importance of selling good quality bags at competitive rates. “I sell my bags with a standard price, they’re not expensive, they vary from Rp 5.000 – Rp 50.000,” she said “by doing this, I can sell 10 bags a day in 5 stores including at Walini, Patenggang, Cimangu, Kawah Putih, Sawung Sari and Sangliwek and make a good business. One store usually requests 200 bags once in a week so the demand for my bags is still greater than I can supply.”
Idul Fitri and New Year are particularly strong business periods, during this time Ibu Nani can make Rp 5.000.000 profit which helps pay her children’s school fees of 1 million, for one year “Because it’s very hard for us to pay our children’s school fees the rest of the year, we save from what we earn during Idul Fitri and strong business periods”, Ibu Nani said.
Ibu Nani lives together with her husband, two children and grandmother in Ciwidey. She usually buys the materials at Thamrin Street in Bandung where she gets a good price. She hopes in the future to expand her business range as there are people who can market her products in Bali, Malaysia or many other countries. “I hope my business can reach other areas such as Bali and Malaysia, because currently my business only reaches Jakarta, Bekasi and Lembang area” she said. BPR Bumi Asih NBP 30 and Bank Andara continue to work together to help Ibu Nani and others like herself fulfil their business goals and to benefit both themselves and their employees.
Ibu Nani is very grateful that her business is going well and that she is so well supported by BPR Bumi Asih NBP 30 and Bank Andara. She said “I hope Bank Andara will continue to help the poor people so that they can also develop their businesses like me.”
Today, 40% of the many MFI clients Bank Andara has worked with in its first year are “pro poor” focused, a strong sign of Bank Andara and its partners commitment to work for and with poor people in Indonesia for the long term.
“By partnering with the right MFIs who share similar goals, working progressively with them to build their capacity and moving forwards together towards mutually beneficial business goals, we know we can achieve our unique social mission to help the poor and the underserved Indonesians effectively while still growing as a financially viable entity,” says Paulus Wiranata, President Director of Bank Andara.